SpaceX Won't Take NASA Science Instruments In First Mars Mission

Posted: Dec 17 2016, 5:17am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

SpaceX Won't Take NASA Science Instruments in First Mars Mission
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  • Breakthrough Mars Mission of SpaceX will not have any NASA Paraphernalia on Board
 

The breakthrough Mars mission of Elon Musk’s agency SpaceX will not have any NASA paraphernalia on board.

NASA’s space instruments won’t be a part of SpaceX’s first Mars mission. This mission could ensue from as early as 2018. NASA wants to delay putting any of its costly equipment on board the tentative mission since it wants to see whether SpaceX can pull this one off or not.

A soft landing on the Red Planet is not some sort of child’s play. It will take everything SpaceX has in its coffers. Millions of dollars are invested in the equipment which will ultimately be lent to SpaceX. 

The Red Dragon effort is laudable but the acid test of it is whether it is successful in the end. Landing a spacecraft on the surface of Mars is a tough job. NASA’s heads want to wait till SpaceX has its ABCs right.

Haste makes waste and so SpaceX will have to prove its mettle before NASA can make a solid commitment to providing it with the right instruments, according to Space.com.

As for Elon Musk, he has said that he wants to launch uncrewed Dragon capsules to Mars soon. His chance will come in 2018. That is the time period when Earth and Mars will be in alignment with each other. 

The landing of heavy payloads on Mars is the first step towards the colonization of the planet. This human settlement of the Red Planet has always been a dream for Musk.

The mission will pay off in the form of huge dividends. A large variety of gear will be sent hurtling towards Mars. NASA will ultimately play its role in the Mars equation. Yet that will only be so when the Red Dragon capsules have proved to be of value. 

The Red Dragon capsule will employ supersonic retropropulsion. It will hopefully achieve a soft landing on Mars. The capsule will arrive at Mars faster than the speed of sound.

Yet it will slow down in order to make a soft landing possible. This will be made possible thanks to the Red Dragon capsule’s SuperDraco thrusters. There is not a single other space vehicle which has adopted this strategy.

NASA is waiting and watching to see how the experiment goes. If it is a success, it will not hesitate to communicate its wishes for its equipment to be on board the Mars mission space vehicles. 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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